'Spice' now banned in Portales

Posted at: 10/16/2013 6:48 PM
By: Lauren Hansard, KOB Eyewitness News 4

It’s a victory for a community that came together to ban the synthetic drug.

“We are thrilled. We are absolutely thrilled, we are so happy that it went exactly the way we wanted to.  The community came together just the way we wanted to, we had tons of people sign our petition," said Elly Marez.

That petition had 600 signatures on it.  And it worked.  Tuesday night the city voted to ban the sale and possession of synthetic drugs.  Lonnie Berry is the man behind the petition.

“It’s important because this is about our children, we had some kids that were put in some terrible situations because of some of their own poor decisions, but they're still kids and we need to as adults try to help them make better decisions," said Berry.

Last month deputies said seven Portales teenagers were rushed to the hospital after taking spice, four of them were doing drugs at school.  Berry and other business owners said the ordinance is a good first step.

“It’s going to be harder for the kids to get ahold of things they really don't have any business getting ahold of," said Marez.

But there’s still more work ahead.

“I think next for us is to see if Roosevelt County will pass one, so they can’t just move the shops out of the city. And then hopefully Clovis will do the same thing," said Berry.

Under the new ordinance, violators will be charged with a misdemeanor.  The city will vote on another ordinance next month that would shut down stores if they’re caught selling spice three times in a two year period.